AKA: Paramount Theater, Downtown, Portland, OR; Portland Public Theatre, Downtown, Portland, OR

Structure Type: built works - performing arts structures - theatres

Designers: DeYoung and Roald, Architects (firm); Rapp and Rapp, Architects (firm); James W. DeYoung (architect); Cornelius W. Rapp (architect); George Leslie Rapp (architect); Knud A. Roald (architect)

Dates: constructed 1927-1928

1037 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97205

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Building History

Designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Rapp and Rapp, the Portland Paramount was built as a vaudeville and movie palace. It later became a performing arts center during the 1970s, the first era of enthusiasm for historic preservation and adaptive reuse. Rapp and Rapp worked for varying exhibition chains, but designed a number of Paramount Theatres, including those in Brooklyn, Seattle, and Toledo the same year.

Aside from the Paramount Theatres in Portland and Seattle, Rapp and Rapp did not produce many, if any, other movie palaces on the West Coast.

Building Notes

This theatre was designed to seat 3,036 people. Its styling was based on Italian Rococo precedents.

Twenty-three photographs of the Portland Theatre's interior have been preserved in the "DeYoung and Roald Architectural Plans and photographs, circa 1920-1930 Collection" at the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives, Collection #Bx 131. (See Archives West.org, "DeYoung and Roald Architectural Plans and photographs, circa 1920-1930," accessed 06/11/2020.)

National Register of Historic Places (April 22, 1976): 76001585 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 9746